The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Through the Lens(es): Cougs continue winning ways over Colorado

Cougs lockdown potential top NBA draft pick
Guard+Myles+Rice+drives+to+the+hoop+in+an+NCAA+men%E2%80%99s+basketball+game+against+Colorado%2C+Jan.+27%2C+2024%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.
EMMA DECASA
Guard Myles Rice drives to the hoop in an NCAA men’s basketball game against Colorado, Jan. 27, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

After the first half of play against Colorado, the Cougs held a lead of 36-30. Andrej Jakimovski was a huge part of that lead, hitting three 3-pointers and finishing the half with 11 total points. Adding four assists and five rebounds, the sharpshooter was far more than a one-trick pony against the Buffaloes for the first half.

Despite having the lead, it was not a perfect half for the Cougs. Relying heavily on their three-point shooting, the Cougs shot 42.9% overall but 45.5% from beyond the arc.

In that first half, Rueben Chinyelu got his defensive masterclass going, denying two Colorado attacks for two of his three blocks in the game. Notably, one came on Colorado’s Cody Williams, a top prospect in the upcoming NBA Draft. Chinyelu fed off the student section, praising the energy of the fans during the postgame press conference.

“They get hype, I get hype,” Chinyelu said. “It is beautiful to have [fans] and I appreciate them so much. I would like to see more than them.” 

BRANDON WILLMAN
Rueben Chinyelu and the WSU bench celebrates emphatically celebrates a huge Cougs bucket, Jan. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

Overall, the Cougs picked apart Williams. He finished the night with just 6 points, all of which came from free-throw attempts. While he did have six rebounds, he also picked up three personal fouls and shot 0-for-4 from the field. When he was on the defensive end, WSU had no fear in attacking the 6-foot, 8-inch forward.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Isaiah Wells shoots just over Colorado’s Cody Williams for a three-pointer, Jan. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

If the Cougs won the first half due to their shooting from distance, they won the second half for everything else. In the final 20 minutes of play, the Cougs shot just 1-of-9 from three but shot an improved 47.1% from the field overall.

Still finding ways to score, the big difference-maker proved to be the Cougs on the offensive glass. With seven offensive rebounds, the Cougs managed to put in 13 second-chance point and 24 total points in the paint.

In the second half alone, Isaac Jones had seven rebounds (two offensive) to go along with 11 points. Overall for the win, he finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, even adding a block on the defensive end.

EMMA DECASA
Forward Isaac Jones dunks the ball during an NCAA men’s basketball game against Colorado, Jan. 27, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.
BRANDON WILLMAN
Rueben Chinyelu and Isaac Jones both contest a Colorado layup, Jan. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

Four Cougs scored in double-digits in the win, with Myles Rice and Jaylen Wells both finishing with 17 points to jointly lead the team.

Late in the second half, Rice took it upon himself to secure the win for his team. With the Cougs up 65-62, Rice found himself on the free-throw line and sank both his free throws. After giving up a layup defensively, Rice made back-to-back layups to put the game out of reach. A 71-64 lead with 0:39 left, Colorado never broke the 70-point mark, Rice’s buckets proving to be the pivotal deciding bucket.

While Wells shot just 6-of-16 from the field, he nailed 33% of his three-point attempts and finished with his own double-double. On top of his 17 points, he grabbed down 10 rebounds, with four of them being on the offensive glass. His plus/minus of +10 in his 37 minutes was third-best on the team, trailing just Jakimovski and Oscar Cluff.

BRANDON WILLMAN
Jaylen Wells rises from the free-throw line over his defender in the second half against Colorado, Jan. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

The win improved the Cougs record to 15-6 and 6-4 in Pac-12 play. Now, sitting near the top of the Pac-12 standings, the Cougs are heating up at just the right time, the win over Colorado being just extended proof of that fact.

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
EMMA DECASA, Evergreen photographer
Emma Decasa is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from Issaquah, Washington, she is a junior majoring in Advertising, with a minor in Sports Communication. Emma started working for the Daily Evergreen in the fall of 2023.